24 December

Pick a Day

24 DECEMBER

In Music History

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2016 Rick Parfitt of Status Quo dies at age 68 after years of heart-related ailments.

2000 Folk singer Allan Smethurst (The Singing Postman) dies of a heart attack at a Salvation Army hostel in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England, at age 73.

2000 Nick Massi (of The Four Seasons) dies of cancer in West Orange, New Jersey, at age 73.

1992 Bobby LaKind (conga player for The Doobie Brothers) dies of colon cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 47.

1991 Louis Tomlinson, the oldest member of One Direction, is born in Doncaster, England.

1977 After 10 weeks at #1 on the Hot 100, Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" is knocked off by another lite favorite: "How Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gees.

1974 James Taylor, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell go Christmas carolling in Hollywood.

1972 At a Manfred Mann show in Miami, police respond to noise complaints by cutting power during the band's encore, leading to a riot.

1971 New York Dolls make their live debut, performing at a Christmas Party at the Endicott Hotel in New York City.

1966 Tommy James & the Shondells record "I Think We're Alone Now."

1963 Mary Ramsey, who goes on to replace Natalie Merchant as lead singer of 10,000 Maniacs, is born in Washington, DC.

1960 Beryl Ingham Formby, wife and manager of George Formby, dies of leukemia at age 59.

1957 Ian Burden (keyboardist, bass guitarist for The Human League) is born in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England.

1946 Jan Akkerman (guitarist for Focus) is born in Amsterdam.

1944 Mike Curb, founder of Curb Records and head of the Mike Curb Congregation, is born in Savannah, Georgia.

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Hair Metal Peaks With Poison

1988

Hair metal reaches its apogee as Poison's power ballad "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" hits #1 in the US. It stays for three weeks.

Just as every rose has its thorn, every hair metal band has a big ballad to show their Spandex-covered softer side. It's an adage to rival "Dust In The Wind," but with a bigger chorus. Bret Michaels wrote the song after calling his girlfriend from the road and realizing she was with another guy. Trying to make sense of this prickly love affair, he brought his guitar to the Laundromat (where up-and-coming bands spend more time than you might think), and sang his sad, sad song. Poison paid their dues playing clubs for a few years but had a hit record with their 1986 debut album, Look What the Cat Dragged In. Their success is the rose in this metaphor; Michaels losing his girl because of his touring schedule is the thorn. The song reaches #1 and stays there for three weeks, straddling two different years. It's peak Poison, and also the biggest hair metal ballad of all time, besting even Def Leppard's "Love Bites," a chart-topper from October. The genre begins a gradual decline, soon replaced by grunge. Bret Michaels again turns heartache to gold when he gets his own reality show in 2007 called Rock of Love, in which 25 women compete for his affections.

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